I had been hearing about Ashwin Sanghi's "Chanakya's Chant" ever since its launch, got my hands on it, but couldn't manage to read it, because my Dad wanted to read it first.
So, when I was selected to review Sanghi's latest book, "The Krishna Key", I was very excited. My interest was boosted when I was going through the Author's Note, wherein he has acknowledges the people behind this book. I knew someone in that list - Kunal Kundu, who has designed this cover that invokes curiosity in the minds of the reader, even before he has turned the first page.
The opening page of the story begins in italics, and tells you briefly about the lineage of Pandavas and Kauravas of Mahabharata. You turn the page, and the font straightens, and the first sentence that you read does not seem related to what you had just read. You would actually turn back to see if you have turned two pages at a time by mistake, but find that's how it has been written. And that opening line is a sixer - you cannot look anywhere else. A new story, equally interesting, starts unfolding!
This book is written in two parallel stories - one narrated by Lord Krishna himself, and the other that flows like a movie plot. Characters are defined, the mystery builds, the mythological connections are integrated smoothly and then the truth emerges. Krishna tells you the story of his life, while a tale of cold blooded murder in the name of religion and conspiracy, intelligent riddles and perseverence continues alongside.
Its an excellent book with an eye towards each detail. I liked the end - it makes you stop and take a look at yourself. The writing style is gripping (rather clinging), making it an "unputdownable" creation - so much so that I devoured it in two days! Never have I completed a 460-odd page book so fast!
A popular saying states that it's all pre-decided, and incidents that happen in our lives are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle - It seemed to come to life when I was wondering that I was lucky to have been an Architect - Town planner, with a passion for our history, ancient civilizations and more. It seemed to me that I was destined to read this book; and my piecemeal knowledge of mythology and history, experiences of places I have travelled to and read about would get drawn up from the depths of my memory, get jumbled up, and be sorted out in a pattern once again. The book will make you feel proud of India for its rich heritage.
Immense research has gone in writing this book. It is not the work of Sanghi alone, but a team of talented people who have drawn such lovely sketches (Rupesh Talaskar) and drawn so much reference from Sanskrit (Vishwajeet Sapan) shlokas (verses). Another thing you are bound to notice is that Sanghi has extremely detailed knowledge of gadgets and mobile phone models - very casually, he uses statements such as "flipped his Samsung ZX03", highlighting the unique things you can do with it. The chapter numbers are encircled in an image of a (locked) lock, signifying the mystery to be unlocked by the "Krishna Key". It would have been very interesting if the image for the last chapter had been an open lock or a key.
I would give this book a 8 out of 10, half a mark deducted for the last round of proof reading it seems to have missed. Somewhere in between the names of the leading female characters have got interchanged; except which this book is a great work.___
This review is has been cross posted from Volatile Spirits